Week 8 is sadly over, and with it a plethora of new sell-high and buy-low candidates. Let’s start wheeling and dealing in the glamorous world of the fantasy football market.
Isaiah Crowell RB (Cleveland Browns) – For some reason, there are people who still believe Crowell is an RB2. After having his best performance of the year, posting a 11-64-1 stat line and adding in another 54-receiving yards, it’s time to sell high on Crowell to those “believers”. First and foremost, Crowell benefitted from an injury to receiving back Duke Johnson Jr., which pushed him into late receiver duties out of the backfield that saw him catch 2 of his 4 receptions for 17 yards in garbage time. Johnson passed his concussion protocol and should be taking back receiving back duties. This is still the Browns, and as long as they are still the Browns, Crowell will continue to struggle. Duke is the only playable Cleveland player and that is as a flex option in PPR leagues only.
[sc name=”Google Inline Ad”]
Alex Collins RB (Baltimore Ravens) – The Ravens running back carousel continues. Collins is by far the best RB option the Ravens have, especially for early down roles. Unfortunately, Collins isn’t much of a pass-catcher, which puts a damper on his fantasy outlook. The Ravens are a .500 team that will be playing catch up most games. Collins’s best opportunity to score points are with touchdowns and big plays. Sell Collins after his breakout game to a team in need of a running back right now. Target a player like Jack Doyle or even Devante Parker, as I see Collins production to continue to be in the 4-6 point range.
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR (Pittsburgh Steelers) – What a breakout game from the rookie on Sunday night. JuJu has been putting up some decent numbers and looks to be a real fantasy contributor down the line. Unfortunately, down the line doesn’t mean this year. Juju stat line of 7-197-1 was quite impressive Sunday night, but his big play came on a fluke 97 yard TD catch and run. The best attribute JuJu has is playing next to Antonio Brown, who draws many double coverages allowing Smith-Schuster to be open underneath. With that said, go use that number 1 waiver wire pick on Smith-Schuster as he is an ideal trade high candidate after a break out performance. But do not expect this kind of production going forward as he will be more of a touchdown-dependent flex player in PPR leagues. If you own JuJu put a feeler out and see what you can get.
Alshon Jeffery WR (Philadelphia Eagles) – Was this the game Jeffery and Wentz finally connected? Is this the turning point? Sadly, no, this is one of those flash in the pan games for Jeffery. It’s clear who the go-to WR is in the Eagles’ offense and coincidentally it’s not even a WR. If Zach Ertz is on the field he is the go-to player for Wentz and the Eagles offense. Along with Ertz, the breakout season from Nelson Agholor moves Jeffery even further into fantasy abyss. This Eagles team wins by defense and scoring early, and less so with downfield shots and throwing into double coverage. Jeffery will have decent games, but sell him now based on his name more than his production. Look to get a Stefon Diggs or even Jerrick McKinnon for those in need of an RB. Also, it’s been reported that Eagles have reached out to the Lions about a possible trade for the contract of Calvin Johnson, which further proves its lack of trust in Jeffery.
Derek Carr QB (Oakland Raiders) – Carr has looked good the past two weeks. With no run game in sight the Raiders are going to be throwing the ball a lot. This may seem like a great opportunity for Carr, but in all honesty, it’s not all that great. With teams being able to key in on the Raiders’ only two receivers they can shut one down completely most games. This means Carr is usually going to be peppering Crabtree with passes game after game. If you’re a Crabtree owner this is great news. Carr has had 3 games of multiple interceptions and if the Raiders’ run game continues to be non-existent, I see this being a similar trend. If you’re happy with 16-17 point performances from Carr then stick with him, but I believe there are QB’s like Tyrod Taylor or Marcus Mariota you can get that will produce similarly while selling Carr for a nice new RB2 and or WR2. The simple fact of the matter is if you don’t have Brady, Wentz, Smith, or Watson, your QB is replaceable. Yes, this includes Drew Brees. Trade Carr now while his value is still up.
Sterling Shepard WR (New York Giants) – Shepard is finally looking to make his return in Week 9 versus a solid Rams pass defense. Before being injured in Week 5 and held out against Seattle and Denver, Shepard was averaging 5 receptions a game. These receptions came while OBJ was playing (except for Week 1). With Shepard being owned in only about 60% of leagues, now is the time to take a chance on the new number 1 WR for the Giants. For those other leagues where Shepard is on a roster, go out and try to snag the young WR for cheap, as the owners are probably getting restless and have found better replacements at this point. I believe Shepard will be a top 20 WR moving forward. Look to sell a player such as Duke Johnson Jr. in PPR or even Javaris Landry in both formats for Shepard and another sweetener.
Julio Jones WR (Atlanta Falcons) – Jones is never going to be able to be bought “low,” but right now his stock is as low as it has ever been. Matt Ryan continues to struggle, the Falcons are barely pulling out wins, and Julio has only found the end zone once all season. Right now is the time to buy Jones at a discounted price. Players like Tyreek Hill or even Kelvin Benjamin are guys that can be offered as part of a package for Jones. The fact of the matter is Julio is just too talented to be held to these kinds of performances. I expect Julio’s second half to resemble more of what we are used to.
Devonta Freeman RB (Atlanta Falcons) – This has been maybe one of the worst three-game stretches we’ve seen in fantasy for the 4th year pro. Freeman sustained a shoulder injury and the Falcons may look to limit his usage in the next week or two. Now is the time to buy Freeman, as the Falcons offense has struggled. Remember, this offense still has Julio Jones, Sanu, and Gabriel to deploy as weapons. Once Matt Ryan finds his rhythm, Freeman will see his weekly stats increase. His average of only 11 carries per game the last 3 games is not what we’ve grown accustomed to. I expect Falcons to get back to their roots and pound the ball 18-20 times with Freeman going forward. Also expect Freeman to see the end zone a lot more as the Falcons have been one of the worst teams in the Red Zone.
Brandin Cooks WR (New England Patriots) – Cooks has been wildly inconsistent this season. With only one big performance, now is the time to buy him, with the injury to Hogan and a bye week to build more chemistry with Brady. Cooks still leads the Patriots in yards while only trailing Gronk by 1 reception as the team leader. If Hogan is to miss any time expect to see an uptick in usage for Cooks. If Hogan misses significant time I expect the Patriots to make a push for T.Y. Hilton, which would bode well for both players.
Jack Doyle TE (Indianapolis Colts) – It’s time to buy into Jack Doyle. With the TE position being harder to decipher than the Da Vinci Code this season, Doyle has been a breath of fresh air the past three weeks. Since Hilton is doubled-teamed consistently and the Colts offensive line couldn’t stop the Ice Box from Little Giants from getting to Brissett, the young QB has leaned on his TE. I don’t know if anyone appreciates the TE or Defense position as much as me, but I believe it is the difference between a championship team and a first-round exit. Buy Doyle from those teams who don’t seem to appreciate the TE position. A player like Latavius Murray might be enough to steal away the new go-to for the Colts and Brissett.
TY Hilton WR (Indianapolis Colts) – T.Y.? But WHY? Here’s why: I fully expect Hilton to be traded before the Tuesday trade deadline. He has a contract the Colts are looking to get rid of as they move into rebuild mode. We have seen a slow changing of the guard at running back from Gore to Mack. With Luck unlikely to return this season and the Colts likely looking to rebuild, Hilton can get the most in return for the franchise. Hilton is almost droppable in leagues and I am sure can be traded for a guy like Smith-Schuster, Crowell, or maybe even a Tevin Coleman in PPR formats. Expect to see Hilton in a Rams, Jags, Eagles, Bills, or even a Patriots jersey depending on the injury to Hogan by Tuesday. Buy him before the deadline. If worst comes to worst and he’s not traded, you have a boom or bust bye week fill-in WR for basically nothing.